Loughborough Dynamo 0 Spalding United 6
The game plan worked for Spalding United.
The scoring opportunities were executed perfectly and league leaders Loughborough Dynamo were left to lick their wounds following their mauling at their Nanpantan home on Tuesday evening, writes Ray Tucker.
Tulips boss Pat Rayment had done his homework and his charges carried out his instructions to the letter as Loughborough’s bid to stretch their lead in the Evo-Stik League First Division South was in tatters.
They were absolutely torn to shreds in a second half that saw the Tulips bang in four super goals.
There is no doubt Dynamo are a good side, their current league position proves that. But, although battling hard throughout, they were on their heels on this occasion, a well beaten team.
Rayment tweaked his line-up to counteract Dynamo’s lively wing attack.
Skipper Michael Leary and Jamie Thurlbourne were relegated to the bench while Peter Bore and Mitch Griffiths were delegated to use their pace to attack from deep positions to nullify the home side’s threat.
The instruction was to whip the ball into the opposition area where new arrival Ryan Oliver would use his strength and height to improve scoring options which so often this season has been Spalding’s downfall. And it worked a treat.
From the back, where keeper Michael Duggan had to make just one meaningful save all night, to the front, the Tulips were great. It was a fine team performance, one in which numerous players could have carried off the man-of-the-match award. My vote would go to ‘The Team’.
The Tulips celebrated their first goal after 15 minutes with Ash Burbeary rifling in a 20-yard free-kick with consummate flair, his well-struck shot looping over the wall and entering the net inches under the crossbar.
Dynamo’s first threat arrived midway through the first half with a speculative 30-yard drive which drifted a few feet wide of the target. Minutes later Duggan was at full stretch to deny Brad Munn.
But it was the Tulips who looked the more lively in attack and the lead was extended in the 28th minute. Kern Miller’s punt upfield found the head of Oliver, picking out the advancing Andy Tidswell who raced past his marker to meet the ball and hook it spectacularly from a tight angle to give Jimmy Lindley no chance.
Competition between the two teams was intense with fast and flowing football but with the Tulips’ back four of Bore, Adam Jackson, Miller and captain for the night Nathan Stainfield on top of their game, and the midfield led in typical style by Lewis Webb, the team’s two-goal advantage was never in doubt of being surrendered.
Dynamo must have felt they stood a real chance of pulling back the deficit but hopes were further dashed after just six second-half minutes.
Griffiths, who worked his socks off throughout, homed in on a ball whipped into the area to score at his near post.
Two minutes later Oliver pounced as Lindley spilled a Griffiths shot to register the fourth goal.
A handball offence presented the Tulips with a 58th-minute penalty which Tidswell executed beautifully, sending the distraught Lindley the wrong way.
The hard-working Griffiths was inches away from adding to the growing tally just minutes later but his efforts were rewarded with the team’s sixth goal in the 70th minute following a fine run and assist by Tidswell.
It was a fine win for the Tulips, a tremendous boost ahead of their FA Cup outing at Norton United on Saturday.
Spalding: Duggan, Bore, Jackson, Miller, N Stainfield, Webb, Burbeary (sub J Thurlbourne 64 mins), Hall (sub Leary 62 mins), Tidswell, Oliver (sub Jones 60 mins), Griffiths. Sub not used: Waumsley.